Why Muslim Parents Should Consider Homeschooling

Many parents today are opting out for homeschooling rather than sending their children to public schools. Students in homeschooling environment enjoy more freedom, creativity, have better learning experience, and tend to do better academically than their public school counterparts. Parents are also choosing homeschooling due to fear of bullying, peer pressure, bad influences, and a low quality of education in public schools.

There is an estimate of 2 million children learning from homeschooling today in the U.S. It is growing more and more popular every year “with a growth rate of 7 to 15 percent per year” (Shaw). Parents are realizing that it is perhaps the best method to instill proper knowledge and manners into their children. Children learn better when they are given individual attention but this is not possible when they are surrounded by 30 other students who also require attention. What ends up happening is that the teacher ignores the individual needs of the children because it is not possible for the instructor to give individual attention to all 30 kids in the classroom. The result is that many kids get left behind in learning and are not properly able to comprehend the material. “Homeschooling and individualized instruction means that a student gets the attention they need and the assistance they need to master the skills required before moving on to the next skill” (Farr). One of the greatest benefits of homeschooling is that children are able to learn at their own pace. They are not bombarded with rushed instructions from their teachers who only want to get through the curriculum whether their students follow through or not.

Parents who home school their kids have a great opportunity to teach their kids through real life examples. For instance, if the child is learning about science, the parents could take their child to the local museum or on a nature walk to make the learning experience more real than just theoretical. Often, schools do not have the budget to do numerous field trips for hands on learning. Similarly, if the child is learning math, the parents can ask the child to help them purchase items at the store with cash or organize their finances, etc. This is often referred to as experimental learning and “is a benefit that allows a student to learn and have fun at the same time” (Farr). Kids should not have to sit for 8 hours a day in uncomfortable chairs learning things in theory. It is no wonder that many children complain about school not being relevant or practical for them. The phrase, “When will I ever use this in real life!” is quite common in math classes.

It is no secret that public schools are not an error free social experience. “Students often find themselves in the midst of a social hierarchy in public schools, and this leads to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem” (Farr). This often leads to some kids being bullied especially if they are on a much lower social hierarchy. Unfortunately, kids committing suicide because of bullying has become more common. There is also peer pressure to fit in and behave a certain way. A child may forego his/her own likes/dislikes and personality just to fit in to the group. Some studies suggest that “self-esteem plummets in middle-school girls” (Shaw). There is also the fear of drugs, dating, bad friends, exposure to pornography due to smartphones, and many other negative influences. Homeschooling can protect against much of this negative impact because “kids can dress and act and think the way they want, without fear of ridicule or a need to fit in. They live in the real world, where lives aren’t dictated by adolescent trends and dangerous experimentation” (Shaw).

Homeschooling is also a great option if parents wish to instill religious values into their children. This is why homeschooling is often popular with religious families. Kids should be learning their moral values from home not outside. However, due to the fact that children who attend public schools spend more time in school with other kids than they do in the house, they are more likely to adopt values shared by their peers than those held by their parents. Today, things are much worse in school than they were in the past. Atheism and hedonism is on the rise, therefore, keeping children home-schooled gives parents greater freedom to instill proper religious and moral values into their children.

Numerous studies have consistently shown that children who are home-schooled do much better on tests than those in public schools. “When it comes to standardized testing, home-schooled students tend to score 15 to 30 percentage points higher than public school students” (Farr). This can lead them to be accepted at better universities. Part of the reason for this may be because kids are given more individual attention so they understand the material better than a student who has to share a classroom with 30 other students, where there is no time for individual attention.

As for Islamic schools, then they are usually too expensive for most Muslim parents and often the quality of their education is low. The teachers hired by such schools are usually not as equipped or qualified as regular public schools. Unfortunately, bullying, drugs, bad company, and sexual materials have entered into Islamic schools as well. Even if the social environment of an Islamic school may not be as bad as a public school, it is still not ideal. Many times it is found that kids who go to Islamic schools tend to take religion for granted. There are plenty of examples of students who attended Islamic schools but are not practicing at all, whereas, those who went to public schools are very practicing. Of course, the opposite is true as well. The point is that it is not guaranteed that children will come out more practicing or be better off just by attending Islamic schools.

One of the most common criticisms against homeschooling is the social development argument. Many people feel that home-schooled kids are not exposed to other kids of their age; therefore, they do not socially develop and may not be able to properly integrate into society in adulthood. However, this is only a misconception and the reality is completely different. As one author who home schools her kids puts it, “It is important to mention that the opportunity to socialize within school is actually quite limited. I would argue that school does not adequately prepare a child for the realities of adult life. In school there is great pressure to fit in with the group – even at the expense of your own personality. If a child is losing its sense of self-worth within the group, then that isn’t good socialization” (Julie).

There are plenty of opportunities for homeschooling Muslim parents to engage their children with other kids for social development, such as, mosque groups, sports clubs, home school groups, play dates, cousins, etc. It is largely dependent on the parents, who must make sure to find and create opportunities for their children to have a healthy social development. Many times, “parents who are intentional about getting their children involved in home school groups with other kids or extracurricular activities end up helping their kids be just as social, and sometimes even more social, than kids who are in public school” (Farr). It is also important to remember that not every child is naturally social. Some children are more social than others. Homeschooling allows parents to cater to their children’s social needs.

In today’s world, where bullying, peer pressure, drugs, bad friends, low quality education, etc. are a common phenomenon of public schools, Muslim parents should strongly consider homeschooling. They will not only have the benefit of spending more time with their kids, thereby, building stronger family bonds but also can protect their children from much social and spiritual harms of public schools.

Below is a video of Howard Gardner, an American developmental psychologist known for his theory of multiple intelligences, as outlined in his 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. He excellently discusses some of the failures of public school education.


Farr, Tom. “9 Benefits of Homeschooling.” Udemy. N.p., 02 Apr. 2014. Web. 25 June 2016. https://blog.udemy.com/benefits-of-homeschooling/

Julie. “Homeschool Socialization.” Home Schooling-Ideas. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 June 2016. http://www.homeschooling-ideas.com/homeschool-socialization.html

Shaw, Isabel. “The Pros and Cons of Homeschooling.” Family Education. Sandbox Networks, Inc., Dec. 2011. Web. 25 June 2016. http://school.familyeducation.com/home-schooling/parenting/29861.html

32 Ways of Honoring Your Parents

  1. Address your parents with proper etiquette and do not say to them uff [expression of annoyance] nor rebuke them. And speak to them with good words.
  2. Obey your parents always unless it is something sinful, in which case, do not obey them because obedience to the Creator takes preference over obedience to the parents.
  3. Be kind to your parents and do not frown at them nor stare at them with anger.
  4. Preserve their reputation, honor, and wealth and do not take anything from it without their permission.
  5. Do acts to make things easy for them even when they don’t tell you to, for example, helping them [with things], buying supplies for them, etc.
  6. Seek advice from them in all of your affairs and apologize when you have to disagree with them.
  7. [When they call out to you], quickly answer their calls with smiling faces.
  8. Honor your parents’ friends and family members in their lifetime and after they’ve died.
  9. Do not argue with them and when they do something wrong, clarify the right thing to them with good manners.
  10. Do not keep insisting [things] on them nor raise your voice at them. Listen to their speech and behave properly with them. Also, do not bother one of your siblings out of honor for your parents [because it would annoy them].
  11. Stand up for them when they enter [into the room] and kiss their forehead.
  12. Help your mother in the house and do not delay assisting your father with his work.
  13. Do not travel if they do not give their permission even if it is for something important. But if you must go, then apologize to them [before leaving]. Also, do not cut off writing to them.
  14. Do not enter into their room without their permission especially during times of sleeping and resting.
  15. If you are afflicted with smoking, then do not do so in front of them.
  16. Do not eat food before them and honor them in food and drink.
  17. Do not lie to them and do not blame them when they do something you don’t like.
  18. Do not prefer your wife or kids over them, rather, seek to please them before anyone else because the “pleasure of Allah is in the pleasure of parents and the anger of Allah is in the anger of parents.”
  19. Do not sit in a place higher than them [ex: you sitting in a chair while they are seated on the floor] nor stretch out your feet in their presence out of arrogance.
  20. Do not arrogantly attribute the relationship to your father [ex: I belong to such and such family; my father is so and so high official, etc.] and be warned from denying them goodness or hurting them with even one word.
  21. Do not be stingy in spending on them until they complain to you [for their lack of resources] because this is a shame on you and you will see that from your children [as well]. The one who condemns will be similarly condemned.
  22. Often visit your parents and present them with gifts. Thank them for raising you and tiring themselves for you. Just think about your own children and how much you endure for them.
  23. The person most deserving of your honor is your mother then your father and remember that paradise is under the mother’s feet [based on a hadith which means serving your mother is a means to entering paradise].
  24. Beware of being ungrateful to your parents and their anger because it will bring unhappiness in this life and the afterlife. Your children will treat you like you treat your parents.
  25. If you request something from your parents, then be kind to them and thank them for having given it to you. If they refuse to give you what you requested, then excuse them. Do not constantly ask them for things because it could bother them.
  26. When you are able to earn a living, then work and help your parents.
  27. Your parents and wife have a right on you so fulfill their rights and try to reconcile between them when they disagree.
  28. If your parents argue with your wife [over a disagreement], then be wise and try to make your wife understand that you are on her side if she is right and that [at the same time] you are compelled to please your parents.
  29. If you disagree with your parents with regards to marriage or some other path in life, then seek judgement through Islamic law because it is the best aid for you.
  30. Supplication of the parents is answered, whether good or bad, so beware of their supplication against you.
  31. Have good manners with the people because whoever cursed the people, they will curse him in return [ex: you curse someone’s parents so they in turn curse your parents].
  32. Visit your parents in their lifetime and after their death [at their graves] and give charity on their behalf and often supplicate to Allah for them saying: “My Lord forgive my parents”, “My Lord, have mercy on them both as they brought me up when I was small”, etc.

Source: How Do We Raise Our Children and What is Obligatory on the Parents and Children – By Muhammad bin Jameel Zeno, pg. 30-31

Guarding Our Children’s Faith: A Guide for Muslim Parents on LGBTQ+ Issues

Identity politics has become a huge part of our society and many Muslim parents are confused on how to navigate through it especially as it relates to their children, who are constantly being exposed and socially conditioned to accept ideas that directly contradict their religious values. Muslim kids face challenges today that many of us never came across growing up. One of these main challenges is the widespread acceptance of the LGBTQ+ lifestyle. It is constantly emphasized through the media, entertainment industry, school, and of course the internet.

There is no escaping it at this point. Our kids will most likely come across it one way or another especially in the West. The most important thing we can do, in addition to making lots of supplications, is talk to our kids by having meaningful discussions on the topic. We must teach them our own value system and prepare them for the real world. They must realize that they take their religious values from home and certainly not the irreligious society around them nor their peers.

I wanted to put together a short list of articles and videos that Muslim parents can use to understand what the LGBTQ+ philosophy is and how to navigate through it. And most important of all, how to protect your kids from it. If you go through all of the links below and comprehend the materials presented, then insha’Allah you will have a much better understanding of how to move forward with your kids. The list below is not complete and I plan to keep adding as I come across more relevant material that I feel may be helpful for Muslim parents in dealing with this issue.

The Modern World – This is an excellent lecture on the topic of what it means to have a “worldview” by Dr. Carl Sharif El-Tobgui. Whether we like it or not, there are competing worldviews struggling against each other in the modern world. Our religion, based on the Qur’an and Sunnah, is also presenting a particular worldview. Dr. Sharif discusses the differences between the Islamic worldview and the modern worldview. Whenever I talk to someone about modernity, I struggle to explain to them the concept of competing worldviews and how it impacts the way we perceive and build opinions about different matters because it requires more than just 10 minutes to break it down! However, Dr. Sharif has done a decent job in 1.5 hours breaking it down in this PowerPoint presentation.

Islam and LGBTQ: Gender, Sexuality, Morality, and Identity – This is probably the most detailed and comprehensive discussion of the topic from Dr. Carl Sharif El-Tobgui. It discusses the history, meaning, implications, and ways to counter the narrative.

The Gender and Gender Identity – This is a presentation by Mobeen Vaid who has done extensive research on the topic. In this presentation, he shares what it means to have a gender and gender identity and whether there is a difference between genders or not. He also gets into the LGBTQ+ agenda and their influence and ways to protect ourselves and kids from it.

Sunni Islam and Gender Nonconformity (Part 1) – An essay by Mobeen Vaid on the Islamic rulings and positions of various forms of gender nonconformity held by Sunni jurists.

Sunni Islam and Gender Nonconformity (Part 2) – This is the second part of the above essay. In it, Mobeen joins forces with Waheed Jensen, a physician, medical researcher, blogger, and the producer and host of “A Way Beyond the Rainbow,” a podcast series dedicated to Muslims experiencing same-sex attractions who want to live a life true to Allah and Islam and to helping Muslim families, communities, and institutions navigate questions related to Islam and homosexuality in the contemporary world. They discuss contemporary discourses surrounding the issue of gender identity (in comparison to biological sex), gender roles, and transgenderism with a focus on the multifarious ways in which modern discourses surrounding these topics can or cannot be accommodated given the legal, ethical, and moral boundaries established by Islamic law.

Straight Struggle – This is a short talk by Waheed Jensen, who struggles with same-sex attractions but has been able to manage his desires in order to live according to Allah’s laws. He shares his story. He also has a more detailed discussion on the topic here.

Sacred Activism – This is an article I wrote for those young Muslims who are involved in social justice work and may come across ideologies, especially LGBTQ+ lifestyles, that contradict their faith teachings. How do we navigate that space? What are our limits and restrictions? Can we work with such groups on mutual issues or no? I did a video podcast with Imam Dawud Walid on this topic as well which is available on YoutTube.

Response from Dr. Yasir Qadhi – A booklet on transgenderism was being distributed to Muslim students at his son’s university so his son brought it home to show it to him. Dr. Qadhi responds to the arguments being made in that pamphlet.

Fatwa on Gender Dysphoria – Fatwa given by Darul Qasim on gender dysphoria. It was given in response to the following questions: Would I be considered a male because of my brain, a female because of my genitals, or intersex because of the incongruence between the two? Would I be allowed to live as the opposite sex and seek HRT (Hormonal Replacement Therapy) and surgery? If I am not allowed to transition, would it be permissible for me to have my friends and family use male pronouns for me in private, or for me to use a chest binder?

When the State Comes for Your Kids – An essay by Abigail Shrier on how some U.S. states are changing laws in a way that they can come after your kids under 18 and take them away if you do not “affirm” their chosen gender even if they have a history of mental illness! They even permit sex change surgeries without parental consent as long as the child wants it.

The LGBTQ Movement – This is a discussion by Dr. Yasir Qadhi on the background of the movement, pronouns, gender fluidity, current conception, and the harms it has for the Muslim community.

Pitfalls of Engaging in Secular Liberal Politics & Activism – In this candid podcast of the Blood Brothers Podcast, Dilly Hussain speaks with Mobeen Vaid on the topic of Muslim groups unconditionally aligning themselves with the left and its negative repercussions. In addition, I would also recommend this discussion by Imam Marc Manley which is critiques ‘wokeness’.

One Contemporary Issues and Shar’i Perspectives – This is part I of a 2-episode series with Sh. Mustafa Umar addressing contemporary issues and Shar’i perspectives related to same-sex attractions and gender identity issues. How can parents, family members and friends support and embrace individuals with same-sex attractions and/or gender dysphoria without compromising their values and Deen? How do we deal with men or women in our families/circle of friends who have “come out” as part of the LGBT community and are living the lifestyle? From an Islamic legal perspective, what are the punishments of same-sex sexual behaviors and some of the common misconceptions surrounding that? Do same-sex sexual acts, the declaration of such acts as halal, or being in a same-sex marriage put one out of the fold of Islam? These and other relevant questions are explored in this episode. You can listen to part II here.

Muslims and LGBT Activism – Mobeen Vaid discusses the rise of LGBT in the West and its influence on the Muslim community.

Gender Roles – Dr. Yasir Qadhi discusses the issue of gender roles in Islam.

Last Stand Against Woke Liberalism – Dr. Ali Ataie discusses the weakness of the new postmodern woke movement.

How Muslim Families Can Navigate Pride Month – Islam recognizes the individual rights of every Muslim and gives high regard to the preservation of one’s dignity. That’s a fact that cannot be disregarded. But for a long time now, the Muslim community has tiptoed around the topic of homosexuality. The materials available are either outdated or too generic which results in further confusion and misinterpretation. Is homosexuality a sin? Is it an act against one’s faith? How do Muslim parents teach their kids about these various identities if they, themselves, are conflicted in their understanding of homosexuality in the Islamic context?

Pride in Islam? – Dr. Tahir Wyatt discusses dealing with LGBT lobby and their quest to normalize the abnormal.

Islamic rulings on transgenderism – Dr. Yasir Qadhi discusses rulings related to gender dysphoria, transgenderism, and how to deal with cases of this nature in accordance to Islamic law.

Islam and LGBTQ – A detailed discussion on the topic of LGBTQ from various Muslim academics and speakers.

Talking to Our Children About Gender and LGBT – A detailed discussion on the topic by Dr. Yasir Qadhi, Mobeen Vaid, and Dr. Carl Sharif El-Tobgui.

Other resources: